200 episodes

A weekly show for everyone who teaches music lessons and wants to improve their craft. We discuss integrated music teaching ideas designed to make you the very best teacher you envision, so you can create lessons students love. The show is hosted by Tim Topham, founder of TopMusic, and features distinguished guests regularly. Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.

Integrated Music Teaching Podcast topmusic.co: Helping you become a more successful music teacher

    • Education
    • 4.9 • 48 Ratings

A weekly show for everyone who teaches music lessons and wants to improve their craft. We discuss integrated music teaching ideas designed to make you the very best teacher you envision, so you can create lessons students love. The show is hosted by Tim Topham, founder of TopMusic, and features distinguished guests regularly. Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.

    314: Replay – Research-Backed Insights on Piano Student Retention with Karen Gerelus

    314: Replay – Research-Backed Insights on Piano Student Retention with Karen Gerelus

    In today’s replay episode, we’re having a chat with Karen Gerelus about her research on piano student retention. We discussed the key factors on why students are quitting and some techniques to keep them engaged. We also talked about what motivates kids externally at the start and how the intrinsic motivation will take over. Karen also shared why teachers are often quite resistant to offering autonomy in their lessons and how giving students show-off pieces boosts their confidence levels and help retain their interest in playing.











    In this episode, you’ll learn how extrinsic and intrinsic motivation affects piano student retention:









    * A short introduction on Karen and her studio.







    * Karen talks about her research work called Parting Ways with Piano Lessons – comparing motivation between continuing and dropout piano students.







    * Focusing on piano student retention in her research.







    * Key factors for students quitting.







    * The impact of parents being in the music lesson.







    * Self-Determination Theory







    * Motivating kids externally at the start is okay. Hopefully, the intrinsic will take over.







    * Karen shares her own story on quitting and coming back to piano.







    * Karen explains the quote “There is no relationship between practice time and motivation.”







    * Thoughts for teachers about practicing and having a tough-love stance, a hard stance on, or being relaxed about it.







    * Karen talks about what she found out about students dropping out because of the lack of popular repertoire.







    * The reason why teachers are often quite resistant to offering autonomy in musical choice in their lessons.







    * Giving students show-off pieces to boost their confidence and retain their interest.







    * Recommendations for bridging the gap between external motivation and internal self-motivation in students.







    * Karen talks about the most basic point of her research.

















    Guest Links









    * Karen Gerelus Website







    * Karen Gerelus Instagram







    * Karen’s research paper: Parting Ways with Piano Lessons: Products, Invoked Reasons, and Motivation Related to Piano Student Dropouts







    * Research paper on Predictors of Student Dropouts

















    Links Mentioned









    * Episode 122: The Motivation Equation with Samantha Coates (Part 1)







    * Episode 123: The Motivation Equation with Samantha Coates (Part 2)

















    Today’s Guest





















    Dr. Karen Gerelus is a third-generation piano teacher, musician, author, and scholar. She has completed an Associate diploma in Piano Pedagogy from the Royal Conservatory of Music (ARCT) and a Licentiate diplo...

    • 47 min
    313: Replay – Jacob Collier Talks Music and Education

    313: Replay – Jacob Collier Talks Music and Education

    Today’s episode is another special and favourite episode from the archives with the 4-time Grammy award-winning young music legend from London, Jacob Collier. Hailing from North London and playing seven different instruments, including distinctive vocals, Jacob’s sense of harmony and tonality is evident in his signature style. He records all of his albums from his music room at home. Jacob shares so many things on this episode, from the story of how he started playing, to his approach to chords and harmony and his thoughts on music education. And we’re treated to a very special performance mid-show as well!











    In this episode, you’ll learn Jacob Collier’s insights on music and education:









    * Coming from a musical family, Jacob shares his exposure to music and instruments from a very early age.







    * Jacob’s start in learning music, including the piano.







    * The importance of chords in teaching and learning music.







    * Childhood musical experiments.







    * Jacob’s skills in playing multiple instruments.







    * His thoughts on practice vs. playing.







    * Jacob’s advice for teachers to encourage more listening because it is so crucial and it’s been so fundamental in his own journey.







    * His experience with formal music education.







    * Making a pivot in his plans with Quincy Jones.







    * Jacob shares the story behind Djesse, his quadruple album.







    * His love for performing with other people.







    * Jacob gives us a glimpse of his music room.







    * His special performance of “You Got A Friend”







    * Up and coming online gigs we should watch out for.







    * Jacob’s inspiring words for teachers on encouraging students to be more and do more.

















    Links Mentioned









    * Jacob Collier Website







    * Jacob Collier YouTube







    * Related: CPTP127: Jon Schmidt from The Piano Guys

















    Today’s Guest





















    It’s not often one encounters an imagination with the depth and proficiency of Jacob Collier’s. The London-based, 28-year-old is dubbed by many as one of the most innovative musicians of his generation. In 2012, Jacob’s self-made YouTube tutorials achieved legendary status in the music world, attracting the praise of such luminaries as Herbie Hancock, David Crosby, Steve Vai and Quincy Jones, who manages Jacob to this day.







    Jacob’s debut album, In My Room, which was crafted entirely in his room at home, and which, if you’re a Top Music Pro member, you can actually watch this interview with me and see inside his home studio; went on to win two Grammys.







    His success has led to musical collaborations and fans including the likes of Coldplay, Ty Dolla $ign, Tori Kelly, Daniel Caesar, H.E.R., Charlie Puth, Kehlani, Jessie Reyes and Finneas to name a few.







    In January 2018, Jacob began designing and creating a recording project on an unprecedented scale – a quadruple album called Djesse: 50 songs divided between four volumes with each operating within a separate musical universe of sound, style and genre.

    • 45 min
    312: Replay – How Teaching Beginners with No Books has Revolutionised Georgina’s Studio

    312: Replay – How Teaching Beginners with No Books has Revolutionised Georgina’s Studio

    Will teaching beginner with no books really click with your piano students? In this replay episode of the Integrated Music Teaching Podcast, our guest is Georgina Jordan who’s a piano teacher in the UK who’ve had a very traditional music education and was struggling to add creativity into her lessons. She shares her story with us and explains how the No Book Beginners framework opened up a whole new world for her studio and why she thinks it works so well for teaching her beginner students.













    * Why Georgina joined the TopMusicPro (formerly Inner Circle).







    * How having a community helps a new teacher.







    * How Georgina uses the No Book Beginners framework in her studio.







    * Which students is the No Books Beginners framework a good approach for.







    * How to expand on the story-based ideas in No Book Beginners.







    * Why the No Book Beginners approach is so valuable in teaching beginner students.

















    Links Mentioned









    * Piano Safari







    * Practising the Piano







    * Why I Teach Beginner Piano Students Without a Method Book







    * How to Teach Beginner Piano Students

















    Today’s Guest





















    Georgina Jordan is a piano teacher and a photographer based in the UK who had a quite traditional music education. She was highly motivated to add creativity into her lessons. She joined TopMusicPro (formerly The Inner Circle), started teaching beginners with the No Book Beginners framework and it opened up a whole new world for her.















    Thank you for tuning in!







    Consider implementing the ideas from this podcast by writing several actionable steps for your teaching practice if it’s inspired you.







    If you enjoyed today’s show, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, which helps other teachers find our show.







    Stay updated by subscribing to this show, and get automatic delivery to your device every time a new episode goes live! We publish on Fridays weekly.











    Will teaching beginner with no books really click with your piano students? In this replay episode of the Integrated Music Teaching Podcast, our guest is Georgina Jordan who’s a piano teacher in the UK who’ve had a very traditional music education and was struggling to add creativity into her lessons. She shares her story with us and explains how the No Book Beginners framework opened up a whole new world for her studio and why she thinks it works so well for teaching her beginner students.













    * Why Georgina joined the TopMusicPro (formerly Inner Circle).







    * How having a community helps a new teacher.







    * How Georgina uses the No Book Beginners framework in her studio.

    • 45 min
    311: Replay – Jon Schmidt from The Piano Guys

    311: Replay – Jon Schmidt from The Piano Guys

    Our episode today is actually a favourite episode from the archives where we’re going to be sharing with you one of our earlier episodes way back in 2018 with none other than the piano guy from The Piano Guys, Jon Schmidt. In this interview, Jon gives us the inside scoop of his awesome YouTube videos, as well as his thoughts on tampering with the classics, and what we can do to inspire the next generation of creative pianists.













    * The magic behind The Piano Guys’ incredible music videos.







    * What it’s like to be inspiring so many piano students around the world.







    * How Jon started with traditional piano lessons.







    * Where the inspiration for Waterfall came from.







    * How Jon approaches teaching chords to students.







    * How The Piano Guys go about choosing and creating new arrangements.







    * Jon’s views on “messing” with the music of the great composers.







    * The essentials of Jon’s own practice routine.







    * What we can do to inspire the Jon Schmidts of the future.

















    Links Mentioned









    * The Piano Guys







    * The Piano Guys YouTube Channel







    * Waterfall

















    Today’s Guest





















    Jon Schmidt was born to German Immigrant parents, who gave him the gift of early education in music. Classical training fell on the fertile ground of Jon’s natural talents for music and hard work. Schmidt began composing as early as age 11. He started teaching piano lessons when most people get a driver’s license and he began a successful solo career in his early twenties.







    Schmidt’s 20 year solo career has included many albums, performances, and awards. The Piano Guys entrapped Schmidt with their lair of beautiful pianos. Shortly thereafter, they all ran away together to create spectacular piano/cello video content. Their goal is humble—to inspire those that may listen.







    Schmidt contributes not just to the on-screen piano talent, but he loves to throw out all of his ideas, and he is not afraid to edit and revise until he has a refined and quality product. Jon finds his fire for the journey seeing the joy of people who hear great music. He is thrilled to reach a wider audience through his work with The Piano Guys.







    Thank you for tuning in!







    Consider implementing the ideas from this podcast by writing several actionable steps for your teaching practice if it’s inspired you.







    If you enjoyed today’s show, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, which helps other teachers find our show.







    Stay updated by subscribing to this show, and get automatic delivery to your device every time a new episode goes live! We publish on Fridays weekly.











    Our episode today is actually a favourite episode from the archives where we’re going to be sharing with you one of our earlier episodes way back in 2018 with none other than the piano guy from The Piano Guys, Jon Schmidt. In this interview, Jon gives us the inside scoop of his awesome YouTube videos,

    • 47 min
    310: The Narrow Key Piano Crusade with Linda Gould and Rhonda Boyle

    310: The Narrow Key Piano Crusade with Linda Gould and Rhonda Boyle

    The movement of pianos with narrow keys has been around for years, but many are not knowledgeable about it. So in this episode today, I’ve invited Rhonda Boyle and Linda Gould to talk more about the narrow key piano movement, how it works, how it started, and where it is now in the process.













    * A short history on the narrow key piano movement.







    * How the first few narrow key pianos and keyboards were made.







    * The challenge of convincing manufacturers to invest in these products. 







    * Rhonda shares how and why she started PASK Piano (Pianists for Alternatively Sized Keyboards).







    * Linda tells us more about Narrow Keys.







    * The development of circular pianos in the market.

















    Guest Links









    * PASK Piano Website







    * Narrow Keys Website







    * Narrow Keys Facebook Page

















    Links Mentioned









    * Relevant Websites and QR Codes PDF Download







    * Related Link: 300: Integrated Music Teaching











    Join the 3-Day “Plan Your Best Year Challenge 2023”



















    Today’s Guest





















    Linda Gould







    Linda Gould is the author of Play Piano Chords Today. She has been teaching and performing for 5 decades, debuting at age 11 when she performed a Bach Piano Concerto under the baton of J.S. Bach and the Mount Royal College Orchestra. Linda has an ARCT and B Mus in performance with distinction, and a minor in Math. She is a competition and exam award winner and recently won Tech Teacher of the year. In her late 30s, she met David Steinbuhler, the inventor of the D.S. 5.5 and 6.0 narrow keys piano actions. Within two years, Linda was back performing big works with orchestras and the Orford String Quartet. This spring she completed a two-piano concert tour with her sister, Sue Gould, performing 11 concerts in 6 days on her new narrow digital piano keys.







    Rhonda Boyle







    Rhonda Boyle studied piano as a child, but her small hands discouraged her from pursuing a career in music. She has tertiary qualifications in science, environmental science and urban planning and her career was mostly in the Victorian State Government. Rhonda returned to the piano in 1999 as a student of Robert Chamberlain. She stumbled across Steinbuhler keyboards on the Internet at the start of 2007 and acquired a DS5.5® keyboard for her piano in 2009. She has since been involved in research relating to hand size and piano playing, presenting at conferences in Australia, USA and Europe and contributing articles to various journals.







    In 2011, she set up a website devoted to sharing information on research and developments relating to alterna...

    • 40 min
    309: Building a Brand New Primer Method with Daniel McFarlane

    309: Building a Brand New Primer Method with Daniel McFarlane

    What is it like to build a brand new primer method? In this episode, I have a very special guest, Daniel McFarlane, who was my first ever guest when I started the podcast way back in 2015. Daniel is known for the Supersonics Piano Method, which he has grown over the years. He’s going to share more about his teaching styles, approaches, and strategies today. And of course, he’s going to share the Supersonics Piano Method and how you can use it with your students.











    In this episode, we discuss:









    * A sneak peak on a typical day for Daniel.







    * How Daniel handles his business and being a father and teacher all at the same time.







    * Tips on how you can position yourself in the business to get parents and students to seek you out as a teacher.







    * The benefits you can get from taking on transfer students in your studio.







    * Why you need to give your students autonomy and choice in what they are doing.







    * Daniel shares a segmented and structured approach in his teaching style.







    * The Supersonics Piano Method.







    * The story of why his approach was called Blast Off.







    * The difference of the Primer Series of Supersonics Piano Method.







    * Appropriate age for using the app for teachers and their students.







    * Tips for teaching mid to late elementary.







    * The goal of repertoire rich learning.

















    Guest Links









    * Supersonics Plus Website







    * Supersonics Website







    * Supersonics Piano Facebook Page







    * Daniel McFarlane Website

















    Links Mentioned









    * TTTV001: Student composition tactics with Daniel McFarlane







    * YouTube link of TTTV001 Interview



















    Join the 3-Day “Plan Your Best Year Challenge 2023”



















    Today’s Guest





















    Daniel McFarlane started composing pieces for his own students back in 2006 and since then he’s never looked back. In addition to composing, he’s also taught students piano, theory and composition since 1997. Many of these students have gone on to tertiary study and careers in piano performance, composition, music education and jazz performance. He’s conducted workshops on composition and teaching for the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, the Australian Piano Pedagogy Conference and for music teachers in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Cairns, Melbourne, Perth and the Sunshine Coast. He’s also adjudicated competitions and examined across Australia.

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
48 Ratings

48 Ratings

Eerrtyy ,

Fun, exciting and a fabulous resource for all piano teachers

I found topcast about three years ago when I was looking for inspiration in my piano teaching. Full of inspirational guests from around the world, Tim offers the piano teacher a one stop shop to explore and connect with leading piano teacher around the world. My mind opened up to the many wondering and innovative teaching ideas, which have made everyday teaching day joyful!

zoevrachnas ,

Best Podcast I’ve ever listened to

Where to start with reviewing Tim’s podcast...! This is a jam packed, super engaging and incredibly helpful podcast for music teachers. I’m new teacher (violin) and I have been bingeing the podcast for the last few months. Each week Tim interviews someone completely different from the last and the common denominator is a love of music education. Oh wow I could go on for days about the poddy! Thank you Tim and the team. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

rachelmariacox ,

Gave me a much needed refresh

I recently have been binge-listening to this podcast after discovering it online, feeling very close to burnout and looking for ways to renew my passion. Tim has absolutely changed the way I view my business and my teaching and I have so many creative ideas to implement, leaving me inspired and ready for the new year! Perfect not just for piano teachers but all musicians (I teach piano and voice and manage a studio). Thank you Tim for all the amazing content - you have gained a listener for life!

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